OP Munjal, Chairman Emeritus of Hero Cycles and one of the founders of Hero Group, passed away earlier today in Ludhiana. The 86-year-old industry veteran was facing health related issues for the past few months. He is survived by one son, four daughters, a daughter-in-law, four son-in-laws and 10 grandchildren. The cremation will take place tomorrow (August 14, 2015) in Ludhiana.
Munjal had only last month ceded Chairmanship of Hero Motors group and retired from an active role in the business. His son Pankaj Munjal succeeded him as the Chairman and Managing Director of the Group.
OP Munjal, along with his three brothers Brijmohan Lall Munjal, Dayanand Munjal and Satyanand Munjal started a bicycle spare parts business in Amritsar In 1944. They subsequently moved their base to Ludhiana naming the company ‘Hero’ and set up India’s first bicycle manufacturing unit in 1956. During 1980s Hero Cycles became the largest bicycle manufacturer by volume in the world. Shri Munjal, who led Hero Cycles for almost 60 years, also helped Hero Cycles in diversifying to other businesses such as auto parts manufacturing and hospitality. Under his leadership, the company grew from its humble beginnings to a Rs 3000 crore industrial house. He also served as President of All India Cycle Manufacturers’ Association.
OP Munjal had received national honours from former Presidents of India including Shri Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, VV Giri, Giani Zail Singh and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. He had also received the Udyog Rattan Award for outstanding contribution towards economic development of the State (Punjab).
Munjal was also a known philanthropist. He supported several educational institutions and hospitals across India.